Eight officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) have been dismissed in the last one year, with another 80 on trial for extortion.
The spokesperson, Tony Akuneme, stated yesterday that disciplinary measures under the passport reform were part of the three-point agenda of the Comptroller-General Isah Jere, which include reform passport issuance, tightening border security and improving the welfare of officers, reports NAN.
He said: “We have tried, as much as possible, to eliminate third parties so that you can process the application of your passport online. You don’t need anybody, whether immigration officers or agents which we call louts, but have now upgraded to agents. They are still third parties.
“The problem we have is the use of third parties, because no matter how much reform you put in, you will always see a learned person using a third party to process his or her application. But they do not understand that third parties don’t have an idea of the information entered into your application. This can result in somebody having issues with his/her National Identification Number (NIN).
“We have continued to punish officers and men who try to assist people for a fee. You can assist people genuinely without extorting them.
“We are committed to curbing corruption and other illicit acts in the service. You will appreciate the fact that if nothing else, the level of awareness has increased in the last few months.
“Don’t patronise agents, fill your forms yourself. We have officers watching and these agents know they are being watched. When they take money from you, tell us. If we don’t take action, tell the world,” he added.